Today we’re trying a little something different. Are you ready? Your word is below. Take the next ten minutes to write about the first single memory that word calls up. Focus on the emotions and the experience, spend ten minutes really exploring that memory. Then wrap it up, publish, and come back to link up.
The word is “CRASH”
Blowing frustrated breaths at the hair that hung in front of my eyes, I continued the futile task of vacuuming out the car. Bits of McNuggets, crayon and gummies began to choke the hose and then it just stopped working. Five dollars in the machine and I was done because of frustration; not because of the sparkling cleanliness. As I turned around to hang the impossibly long vacuum hose up I noticed a man approaching me. He certainly had the “I have something to tell you” look on his face. I did the eyebrow cock and reached into the car to look busy. I hoped to convey that I would listen, but only for a moment. Life was too busy and important to talk to a stranger.
“There was a horrible crash on the bypass. 50 cars or more. A man lost his life. A newlywed. Can you imagine? His poor wife. Have you heard about it?”
All weekend I heard about this young man. At the grocery store they talked about what a wonderful guy he was. At a Christmas party the love he had for his young wife was whispered about. At church the pastor spoke about the faith that he had and about how much his family loved him. Pockets of strangers would gather everywhere I went to discuss this young man and the crash. The conversations never stopped there. New topics were brought up and soon new friendships were formed.
A community brought together in a crash. A young man whose life was stopped too short was continuing to live on and the threads of his life were being woven into something more. People forced to look at the things that they were able to do that day and not take it for granted. A mother who was just trying to vacuum out her car, meeting someone new and hugging her children a little tighter when asked to imagine the crash.
It’s hard to lose someone so early. It’s hard to understand the purpose of the crash that day. It’s easy to see the amazing impact that young man had. It’s amazing to look at how his life and death caused a crash of another kind. Strangers bumping together on the path of life.
Gathering love and life a little tighter in their hearts.